The Bermuda District has been overlooked in many facets and for so long; access, being an important one. Our district’s classrooms are less equipped for technology and learning materials than any other district in the county. Bermuda is the only district in Chesterfield without a Center Based Gifted program. I plan to change that, along with the poor allocation of resources this district has received for too many decades.
Thomas Dale West and Carver Career Academy have been listed as two of the poorest quality school buildings in the county for the last 8 years, or two bond referendums. Despite knowing this information, the board has chosen twice to build schools in other districts. This year, the board has voiced that the much needed renovation to these two buildings is unlikely to happen. It’s time we stand up for two the historically significant, and operationally necessary high schools in the Bermuda District.
So many families were caught off guard this school year with a plethora of changes that we were given little to no notice about. From the school start time change to the bus crisis, we were left uninformed about the effects these decisions would have on our lives. Our elected officials have done a poor job representing this county on many life changing decisions they have made on our behalf. I believe it crucial to have an ongoing dialog with parents, guardians, and members of the community to ensure that I best represent what the district wants as a whole. That’s why I’m out knocking doors daily; to learn how I can best represent your family.
Keeping your kids safe is my top priority. I plan to take an in depth look at the condition of our buildings and what safety measures are in place to protect students in the case of an emergency. It’s crucial that the proper protocols and preventative measures are in place to ensure that are schools are as safe as possible. This means working with local Law Enforcement, EMS, and the Fire Department to develop plans together to best protect our children.
The national average for the Counselor to Student ratio is 1:250. According to counselors throughout this county, they are assigned 600, 700, and some accounts, 800 students to one counselor. The Commonwealth of Virginia has expressed its support for a lower ratio with the help of funding to hire more mental health professionals. I believe it’s crucial that we look at positions for more counselors, school psychologist, and support staff.
Virginia ranks among the highest in the country for quality of education, however, our teachers are paid some of the lowest wages in the nation. It’s time we show how much we value the individuals that shape the next generation of doctors, lawyers, business owners and so much more. Our Educators and Support Staff have been without adequate pay for far too long.